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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  May 11, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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who cooks in the great restaurants? farm boys, basically. that's who always cooked. my deepest thanks to your mother and your father. thank you. >> merci. next time my father make you drive the tractor. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com i didn't even think about death. anybody has a camera was shot immediately by a russian soldier. >> anthony: you were alive and holding a camera at a very important time in history. you had to think, "i'm doing something important." >> vilmos: it's very easy to make beautiful pictures, but pictures which mean something, with what's in it -- that's a totally different story.
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♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la la ♪ ♪ >> anthony: you know these images. you grew up with them. they're burned into your brain.
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they're iconic sequences. framed and lit and seen through the lens in ways that changed filmmaking forever. all made by the same man. so, who made these beautiful things? where did he come from? it didn't begin in hollywood -- it began here in the streets of budapest. what about his life, his past, his upbringing, led him again and again to look through a piece of glass and make images like these? but first, some context. and schnitzel! did i mention schnitzel?
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it's beautiful here. they said that, of course, that budapest is beautiful. but it is, in fact, almost ludicrously beautiful. a riot of gorgeous architectural styles, palaces, grand public spaces, former mansions of various princelings, the remains of a long gone empire still here, still here. if there was such a thing as building porn it would be this. just looking out the window as you drive or trolley by, you think, "i want that. who lives there? who lived there? what's it like inside and where did they go?"
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from high up gellért hill, you get a sense of the layout of the city. divided, split by the danube river. buda on one side, pest on the other. hungary's capital literally divided in two. historically a crossroads of eastern and western worlds. which is which now? which is buda and which is pest? >> peter: we are in buda. >> anthony: right. >> peter: if you can look down you're always in buda. >> anthony: okay. >> peter: if you look up to something then you're in pest. >> anthony: péter zilahy is a budapest born poet and performance artist. >> peter: according to the myth i was brought up in, if you're in buda you're in europe and the other side is asia. this was the, this was the border of the roman empire originally. this big river. >> anthony: right here? >> peter: yeah. >> anthony: why didn't they cross? >> peter: uh, the other part,
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the other side is flat. it's hard to defend and there were all these tribes that were, like, really vicious and uncivilized as the romans believed. >> anthony: they've all been here. the celts, the romans, mongols, the ottoman turks, all had their way or tried. all left their mark to one extent or another. ♪ then, mid-nineteenth, century the curious seemingly improbable austro-hungarian empire. this is when the city came into its own fueled by untold wealth, accumulated power, and ambition. architecturally, intellectually, a great city. one of the world's greatest. >> peter: and that was a time when budapest was a really progressive metropolis. you know like, the first subway in the continent of europe was in budapest. parliament had, like, a very sophisticated air conditioning system so people wanted to come here, wanted to live here, wanted to start a career, wanted to build places like this
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because it was a good investment. >> anthony: the new york café is one of the last remnants of a society where artists and writers were valued citizens regardless of financial means. >> peter: when this café was built there were more than five hundred cafes in this neighborhood and this was the biggest and nicest café in the world at the time never to be closed. >> anthony: here, like in most cafes at that time, a few cents or a few bucks could buy you space all day long sipping your coffee, thinking great thoughts. nobody would hassle you. it was a petri dish of creativity. no hipster neck beard barista would make you feel bad about not spending any dough. >> peter: waiters were speaking several languages and they read literature and they invited the writer occasionally if he didn't have money because they appreciated the literature. where are we now compared to that? >> anthony: don't try that now,
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of course. today's new york café patrons spend both their time and their money on things like goose liver terrine. foie gras is everywhere in hungary, all over every menu, and it's good. real good. peter's going for the lamb ragu, a soup. >> peter: if you would look like a writer, they immediately would bring you a paper and ink. they would bring up the dictionary, whatever you were looking for. also, most people didn't have telephones at home and you could be called here, and you could get your mail. >> anthony: why do i want to attract writers? it's like, "i need more jazz musicians in my restaurant." they're -- deadbeats. >> peter: yeah, it was a different -- >> anthony: there's no money there. >> peter: it was a different time. it was not simply about the money. >> anthony: so it was about? >> peter: identity. yeah. >> anthony: we want to be the place that attracts the best and the brightest. >> peter: yeah. >> anthony: even if they don't have money. those days will never return. >> peter: no those days will never return. >> anthony: lovely, thank you. for the main courses, peter gets the filet of perch. i'm going for the pork throttle
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stew mostly because i like the sound of throttle. that is beautiful. that makes me very happy. if i were to ask most hungarians, "when were the good old days?" >> peter: yeah, you have the answer. >> anthony: right, it's this. >> peter: it's right here, surrounding us. >> anthony: of course it's not all foie gras and fine wines, there are other pleasures just as awesome. maybe, maybe even more awesome. like this. pléh csárda, a smoky, chilly working class joint run by istván babel for the past 25 years. and, for obvious reasons, beloved by locals. it's been a long time coming, my friend. and here's why. look at this.
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a golden brown pancake heaped with chicken livers, covered, nay, drowned with a rich deeply satisfying sauce of bone marrow. i've got to tell you, this is great. now, some of you have noticed and complained that i don't really describe food anymore on the show. that's a deliberate strategy on my part, actually. it's really a lot like writing porn. after you've used the same adjectives over and over like, you know, the penthouse letters. look at it. it's chicken livers. it's bone marrow. it's paprika. it's a delicious pancake. is it going to make your life better at all if i describe exactly how while smacking my lips annoyingly? no, it's good. venison stew, delicious, and then this. this. good -- holy -- really? good lord, jeebus. this i need a photo of. put a human hand next to it. that's just truly terrifying. who eats that? behold the massiveness, the surfboard-sized fried to order
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in a pan to only the highest standards schnitzel of justice. ride that baby all the way home. yeah. oh, that's good. deeply, texturally pork flavor with hints of three-day old fryer grease. if a big wave came i could surf this thing back to my hotel. i kid you not, this is a testament to a great culture. also gout, but who's counting? actually don't think i'll be able to get through this. do i get a t-shirt if i finish this, and my picture on the wall? (music throughout)
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perhaps, called to serve a higher purpose.
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put here on earth to do god's mysterious will. daniel mate is here for this, to spread the gospel of meat. hungarian meat related wisdom in all its delicious, delicious variety. like saint francis of assisi he wanders the earth doing good works. in this case, highlighting the ancient arts of butchery, sausage making, and the preparation of many of the lord's creatures, as he himself would no doubt like to see them prepared. >> daniel: what have you heard about budapest butchers? >> anthony: not much.
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>> daniel: we have 70 butchers in budapest. >> anthony: seventy? >> daniel: yeah, in which you can find a small corner with hot meat and roasted meats and so on and so on. >> anthony: it's very, uh -- >> daniel: wherever you are you can -- in 5 minutes walk, you can find a butcher where you can eat something. >> anthony: and on this particular corner, belvarosi disznotoros. one of daniel's favorites. >> anthony: so you're not a butcher. you're not in the food business.
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>> daniel: no, no, no. >> anthony: what is your -- what do you do? >> daniel: i'm an economist. >> anthony: you're an economist. as i understand it, you go from butcher shop to butcher shop investigating old-school butchers. why do you do that? >> daniel: because i really like it and, uh, somewhere in 2011, i saw that i'm not alone with this. so we have to -- we should make a fan club. and i started to write on facebook. nearly 10,000 likes on facebook and they are active. >> anthony: it's so unusual that there are so many because in france, germany, and the states the old school butchers who know how to do all of these things, they're disappearing. you know? their kids aren't doing it. >> daniel: it's not easy to be a butcher nowadays in hungary, but with this catering function -- >> anthony: right, doing prepared food. >> daniel: yeah, they try to save themselves. >> anthony: yes, there are many
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boutique cuts of meat available, as one would expect from a master butcher. but then there's this. a field of dreams, a landscape of braised and fried and cured delights that seem, under glass, to go on forever. >> anthony: a good hungarian butcher shop, they should be able to cut meat, cure meat, make sausage, and cook preparations as well. >> daniel: yeah. >> anthony: look at that. there he goes. so beautiful.
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i mean, there's no comparison with a supermarket, plus you can ask what's good today? today, oh look, what great timing. they're making one of my favorites. blood sausage. >> daniel: you have to say it in english because i can't. >> anthony: paprika. >> daniel: yes, paprika. >> anthony: uh, oregano? thyme. >> butcher: marjoram. >> anthony: marjoram. >> daniel: marjoram. >> anthony: uh, allspice. >> daniel: here comes rice. >> anthony: okay. here comes the blood. >> daniel: and here comes the blood. >> anthony: beautiful, so good. salt. >> daniel: and the sugar, i don't understand why. >> anthony: it makes flavors pop. beautiful. season and right into the tube. dick jokes coming. stand by for dick jokes. all right, so, what do we have here? oh, that looks good, some nice pickles. braised red cabbage. over there, from the mighty shanks of some mythical creature, perhaps, a batali-saurus or delicio-saurus at least. slow braised until the meat is falling off the bone. and let there be blood. delicious, delicious blood in tube form, served still steaming, nay, heaving, engorged as you will with goodness to squirt across your plate as you press against it with the side of your fork. so delicious. so, how often do you do this? >> daniel: two or three times a week. >> anthony: uh-huh. what distinguishes a good butcher from an okay butcher? >> daniel: actually, i myself like all butchers. [ laughter ] >> anthony: they're doing good business here. >> daniel: and it's cheap. >> anthony: yeah? >> daniel: i can't tell you
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which is my favorite butcher in budapest. >> anthony: yeah. >> daniel: because, all of them is different. >> anthony: right. you ever just go out for like a salad? [ laugher ] i kid, i kid. there is another long tradition of artistry here in budapest. we grew up with their works. visual artists, photographers, filmmakers. where did they all go? well, world war i happened and with it the end of the austro- hungarian empire. budapest and all europe changed forever. a decades long wave of immigration began. a stunning number of the world's great photographers fled their native hungary and took up new lives. eventually this man joined them. >> vilmos: i've been shooting stills since i remember i was living basically. i was five, six, years old when i was taking pictures with my father's kodak camera. the right moment, you have to capture and that's the difficult part. the exact moment which told the story. now hungarians -- there is the need to excel. my father was not really an artist. he was a soccer player. a very good one. he said, "son, whatever you do, you have to be the best at it." first, not second, you have to be first because otherwise it's not worth it.
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>> anthony: vilmos zsigmond, legendary cinematographer. if, for some reason, you don't know the name, you sure as hell know his work. the oscar winning "close encounters", "the deer hunter", his absolutely revolutionary work on "mccabe & mrs. miller", "the long goodbye", "deliverance." he created a whole new palette. took crazy risks. changed film language in ways that people still try to imitate. and he's making our camera crew very nervous, i can tell you. >> anthony: self taught yourself. you taught yourself to shoot.
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>> vilmos: basically i always tried to use my father's little kodak camera. my luck was, actually, that i became sick with some kidney disease. i was in bed for a month and an uncle of mine gave me a book about eugene lubovich, who was a great photographer. i bought the camera for myself, and started to take just amateur pictures. >> anthony: one thing that hasn't changed through the years is the hungarian affection for "taking the waters." marinating in thermal baths, a tradition going back to the romans, continued by the ottomans, and something that survived right through two wars and communism, and they do it in style. >> anthony: who came here back in those days? was this reserved for -- did anyone who wanted to could come here? >> vilmos: well, you know, moneywise it was -- since nobody really made enough money, so everybody could afford it basically, because it was cheap. >> anthony: right. >> vilmos: in hungary we have so many spas. >> anthony: there are many bathhouse spas, baroque, elaborately appointed wedding cakes built atop mineral rich hot springs gurgling from the earth.
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none more beautiful or storied than the gellért. >> anthony: so you arrive in budapest around age 21. >> vilmos: at age 21. >> anthony: what, what was the city like then? >> vilmos: it was always beautiful in those days. i mean, they could not -- i mean, they were ruins after the war, 1945, i think. half of the city was still in ruins. they didn't do much. they didn't have money, you know. >> anthony: when you first moved here to go to film school, what was your average day like other than your studies? what did you do for fun back then? what were your options? >> vilmos: i'll tell you my options were -- zero. imagine that we are in a school.
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there were very little help from the government, very little money. it was good enough to have breakfast and lunch, or breakfast for dinner. you have to skip one lunch, if i wanted to buy socks, a pair of socks. so we were very, very poor. but, i must say that under these whole four years, it was probably my happiest part of my life under communism because i was learning cinematography. so, i fell in love immediately. >> anthony: in fact, some of vilmos' most powerful and world changing footage occurred around this time before leaving hungary as a film student during the outbreak of revolution, but we'll get to that later. ♪ behr premium plus, a top-rated interior paint at a great price. find it exclusively at the home depot.
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call, visit or click today. ♪ >> anthony: in many ways vilmos zsigmond's career as one of the great cinematographers in film history begins here, in szeged, about 200 kilometers south of budapest. here he was raised by his father, who worked many jobs to make ends meet. weekends and warmer months all over hungary, wherever there's a river and fish, places like this are thronged with families and here, along the tisza river, is no exception. here, young vilmos and his dad
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would come and eat halászlé, the local specialty, a fish soup. how old were you when you first came to this place? >> vilmos: i must have been about 7 years old. no, my father was really great. in those days he was, actually he didn't have much time, but occasionally he wanted to take me away somewhere, you know, a day, away from work, because he loved this place actually. he loved especially this, this chowder, this fish soup. >> anthony: oh, it's murky and good looking and i need some bread for this, for sure. pike from the river simmered low and slow in a rich fish stock with a healthy amount of onions and the near ubiquitous, but always delicious, paprika.
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oh, that's good, right? >> vilmos: as a kid i loved that. that fish tastes so good. >> anthony: um, during the summer do they open, they open the windows and eat outside? >> vilmos: and then they do go and swimming in the river. it was a great place, it used to be a great place for fun. and, you know, at night we used to come here at night and the gypsy, the gypsies were playing music and i love that actually. i always loved gypsy music. they were playing hungarian songs. i had a very happy childhood. it was good times until, until, until the war got in and then stopped all that happiness, you know, there was just hard times. >> anthony: were you fully aware of how bad, how grave things were? >> vilmos: near the end of the war i think the germans came in
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and then the allied started to bomb us and then they started to take, uh, jews actually into working camps that started to be very, very ugly. >> anthony: for people of your generation who grew up, i mean, these were incredibly insecure times. psychologically what do you think that teaches you as far as a worldview? do you become more adaptable? do you become more suspicious? do you become more cynical? >> vilmos: it's about survival, actually. we want to survive as hungarians, to preserve identity as hungarians. that's what we did, survived.
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>> anthony: he saw a lot as a young boy, as he would later as an adult. in 1944, german tanks rolled into hungary. his country was now in the hands of a foreign power and not for the last time. >> vilmos: and, you know, me thinking back to my school years i almost see that those were my happiest years in my life. being under the, a terrible regime, terrible things have happened all around us, we were starving practically, but we were studying cinematography. being in the film school was like an island, the craziness. >> anthony: i grew up in new jersey. my family was sentimental about
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beautiful pictures, a beautiful script. we saw every film you ever shot, uh, and, and talked about them at the dinner table. these were important. this has got to look pretty close to the way it did in the old days, yeah? >> vilmos: oh yeah, this didn't change much. >> anthony: through it all, for vilmos, there was this place, however, a very special place for a boy growing up during wartime, the movie house where he saw his first films. so, what memorable films did you see in this theater? [ speaking german ] >> vilmos: my probably best experience that i had in my life, i was in hungary, see chaplin's "the dictator." [ speaking german ] >> translator: democracy is fragrant. [ speaking german ] >> translator: liberty is odious. [ speaking german ] >> translator: freedom of speech is objectional. >> vilmos: a great experience. chaplin did such a great job, you know? >> anthony: some films, of course, resonated more than others. the power of the visual image intensified, maybe, by what was going on just outside that dark room. films could be inspiring. they could also be dangerous. it was so magic to me. i mean, they still are. to go to a film, especially a dangerous one, one that was just with the subject matter and the content was, was different and to see that it just, ah, oh my god what do i do with my life now after seeing this. this theater, by the way, is now named in his honor.
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i mean, do you remember what it felt like? >> vilmos: tanks were going from one side to the other side of the danube and -- >> anthony: there were tanks coming across this? >> vilmos: well yes, actually, it was a pretty cold, cold day too. >> anthony: yeah? >> vilmos: not this cold but it was, it was raining and it was bad weather. it was very much, uh, you know, in sync with what's happening in budapest. >> anthony: after the war, a cold war. hungary now found itself firmly in the grip of the soviet union. germans had been replaced by russian commissars and their obedient hungarian functionaries. young vilmos zsigmond was now at film school in budapest, learning his craft along with his new best friend who'd also
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go on to become a legendary cinematographer, laszlo kovacs. then, in 1956, something amazing happened. >> announcer: hated emblems of red tyranny went down as hungarian patriots, for ten glorious days, sent russian armored might reeling in the struggle which pitted raw courage and rifles against tanks. >> vilmos: few blocks away where the statue of stalin used to be and the first night, actually, when the revolution started the people wanted to take the statue down. it took about couple hours actually to cut mr. stalin's legs off and they actually dragged him around the city, you know, the next day people took pieces home as a souvenir. >> anthony: to date, this was something that had never been done, the hungarians took to the streets.
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a revolution. that's when vilmos and laszlo and some pals snuck 35 millimeter cameras and film out of their school's equipment room and, at great risk to themselves, joined their countrymen in the streets documenting the revolt and the aftermath. these images are from some of that historic footage. it seemed, for ten glorious days, that freedom had finally come. encouraged by the west, and by cia radio broadcasts in particular, the hungarians believed that help was on its way, that this was it, they dug in and fought, hoping to hold out until help arrived. on november 4th, a desperate plea went out over the airwaves. >> this is hungary calling. this is hungary calling, for the sake of god, the freedom of hungary. >> anthony: the russians had been beaten back for a time, but
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now they doubled down with a vengeance. pouring tanks and troops and heavy armor back into budapest and brutally, and all too effectively, put down the resistance. help never came. >> vilmos: i mean this, this is a place where a lot of things happened, used to be the avh headquarters. i never shot this before so, this is probably the first time i'm going to get this building shot. >> anthony: so this was the internal secret police. so, if someone came at night -- >> vilmos: yes. >> anthony: -- with a van and you were taken away, you ended up being interrogated here. >> vilmos: yes. >> anthony: secret police headquarters in 1956. the sight of a firefight between
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snipers on the roof, and their fellow citizens below. >> vilmos: and then the people got into the building, went up there, hauled them, brought them down, and killed them, actually. basically hanged them on the streets. >> anthony: hung them here? >> vilmos: hanged them in front of those streets there. i'm trying to find the tree which they hang those people up there. [ inaudible ] these trees. >> anthony: had you seen people killed before, before the revolution? >> vilmos: no. it's a very tragic moment. >> anthony: the building is abandoned. the door, as it turns out, wide open. >> vilmos: oh wow, oh look at that. >> anthony: it still feels sad. a little haunted, yeah? >> vilmos: those were vicious times, you know? people, life was not, not really important toward these people, they were cruel. picking up people at midnight
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and taking them somewhere and some of them went to siberia. they killed so many people after that time and unfortunately, like, photographed us, you know? they went through the film. the people were in trouble and many were killed. 200,000 people left the country at that time, hungarians. >> anthony: how long did you stick around? >> vilmos: almost 3 weeks and that's when we realized that nothing is going to change. >> anthony: you left hungary with a lot of cans of film. >> vilmos: as much as we could carry. we had just enough money, basically, to get to america. enjoy your stay. thanks very much. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ it's a hard life, that of a professional musician. as true a statement in budapest as anywhere. these guys are budapest bar, an eclectic troupe of extraordinary musicians united by their dedication to that uniquely hungarian crossroads of gypsy and classical music. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: so, what does a band do when the hour is late and sustenance, and perhaps some
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strong drink, is required. it's back to the flat of lead violinist robbie and his manager wife, andrea. and of course, they must play more music. >> anthony: do you have to be gypsy to play gypsy music? yeah, no hesitation. [ speaking hungarian ] >> andrea: he says, it's very rare that anybody who's not a gypsy can play gypsy music. [ speaking hungarian ] >> andrea: in gypsy music the whole lifestyle, the whole spirit, is in and kids start learning it when they are two or three. by the time you are eight you have all these ingredients in your blood. ♪ ♪
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>> anthony: margit bango, basically the aretha franklin of hungarian gypsy music, a household name. also a fantastic cook. extraordinary singing talent does not preclude her from overseeing a classic line up of dishes like chicken paprikash, whole perch roasted in bacon, stuffed cabbage filled with goose meat and slow cooked and, of course, the inevitable goulash. the iconic dish you see everywhere, but rarely as good as this. ♪ ♪ >> anthony: good, should i put a little sour cream on there? >> andrea: yes. >> anthony: beautiful, thank you. >> margit: bon appetit. >> anthony: thank you.
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>> andrea: she says it's her own special recipe. >> anthony: luxurious. if you're a musician living in budapest right now -- this is a good time to be a musician? >> margit: never, no euros. >> andrea: it's not, it's not a good time she said. depends on the view. >> margit: [ speaking hungarian ] >> andrea: it's very bad for the gypsy musicians, generally speaking, because it's dead, it's completely, apart from things like budapest bar, gypsy music is extinct. >> anthony: is heartbreak, is sadness, an important part of this music? i mean, hungary is a country that has experienced a lot of heartbreak. >> andrea: so, it is a lot of heartbreaks, it's a lot of difficulties and that -- >> margit: [ speaking hungarian ] >> andrea: and there is another saying that, uh, the violin is
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crying. the gypsy violin is crying or, uh, there is another one that, uh, even if we have joy, we cry. the hungarians. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> anthony: tonight, vilmos has invited me to the home of his long time friend and colleague in the film business, richie romwalter. vilmos met richie on the set of a movie more than 20 years ago and they've been friends and partners ever since. >> vilmos: to your health, that's what they say. >> anthony: thank you, cheers. >> all: cheers! >> vilmos: in hungarian it would be egészségedre. >> all: egészségedre. >> anthony: i'll never learn to pronounce that. >> richie: just try, just try.
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egészségedre. >> anthony: egészségedre. >> anthony: richie's wife maria, daughter judith, vilmos' wife susan, friends, and family reunite for the best of simple pleasures. we start with a rich caraway and onion and paprika soup, finished with homemade croutons. there's marhapörkolt, a deeply rich, deeply warming beef stew with some smoked pork sausage mixed in for good measure. cooked slowly for hours and, of course, heavy on the paprika. traditional cucumber salad. to accompany the stew nokedli, boiled dumplings. >> vilmos: our style of photography was not realism. we called it poetic realism. that's what we always thought
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about cinematography. we are emphasizing basically the beauty of the things, but also i make it more beautiful than it is. >> anthony: why is hungary so strong on photography? >> susan: i think they're very strong in mathematics which was, in the early days, connected to photography. vilmos tells me about his education in math, it was totally different than what i received. >> richie: very good at school. >> vilmos: that's what i said, that schools in hungary were very, very good. >> anthony: this is no kind of an answer to me. you've made some of the most iconically beautiful images that we've known in the modern world and you keep telling me, "well i was smart in school, i was good at math, or it was a good --" >> vilmos: so tell me, what would you like to hear? >> anthony: i was touched by god, i don't know! i don't know what i'm -- if you were regularly creating the sublime and looking for a metaphysical answer, i don't know.
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>> vilmos: we learned this, we learned to be an artist. >> judith: so if i would ask you that how was dinner, would you -- >> anthony: so deeply delicious, thank you. really good, really good. wow. >> woman: oh, thank you. >> anthony: i'm glad, what a great meal. thank you. >> anthony: do we emerge, fully formed with a god given eye for pictures, images, that can move people? or are we the end result of all the things we've seen, all the things we've done, the places we've been, the places, the people we've had to leave behind. all that's happened in your life. is it those things that bring the light or the darkness to the blank screen? and what about the faces of those we capture in our magic lenses for a minute or a second or an hour? afterwards, should we think about them and where they might be now?
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♪ ♪ you have me beat. i know you're 94 years old but how old do you feel? the fountain of youth must be somewhere in italy. why? because italians are the healthiest people in the world. a new worldwide study credits low obesity, access to doctors and the mediterranean diet, but there's clearly more going on

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